How Seniors Are Saving The World: Retirement Activism to the Rescue
By Thelma Reese and BJ Kittredge (2020, Rowan & Littlefield)
Book Review by Joe Casey
Retirement Activism? For some people, it’s already a way of life. For others, this book will offer a paradigm shift. The times we are living in (and living through ) make this book a timely call to action. For some, there’s a clarion call to political activism, social justice, or climate change. Others are drawn to making a difference in their local communities. There’s a growing army of senior volunteers and activists that are a force for change. The authors make that the case that many of us have fallen into a comfortable relationship with “clicktivism”. We offer support to the causes that matter to us through online commentary and donations. But this book calls people of a certain age to a higher level of engagement by getting involved through action that drives positive change.
Some people view retirement as a time to step back, relax, and unwind. While appealing at first, over time that can become unsatisfying. Boredom, loneliness, and a lack of purpose can creep in and then gradually take hold. But there’s a better way. This book illustrates how Retirement Activism is a way of un-retiring to do good while reaping the benefits of successful aging. The stories in the book highlight people with a clear sense of purpose and meaning, strong social connectivity who are continuously learning and developing creative solutions.
How Seniors Are Saving The World profiles a diverse group of 24 people, ranging in age from their 60s to their 90s, who are actively advancing causes they care about. Activism offers an avenue to contribute and leverage the wisdom earned over a lifetime. The causes and ways in which they get involved varies. But the sense of passion and commitment does not.
Retirement activism goes beyond volunteering. There’s often a personal connection that drives people to get involved. It’s clear from the stories in this book that retirees are indeed saving the world. It’s also clear that it’s being done in different ways. Some big and some small. Some are starting organizations and some are solo. There’s a variety of ways people are involved and the amount of time and effort that’s involved.
The stories in this book are interesting and compelling. At the end of each story, there’s a section titled ‘How To Connect’ listing relevant organizations and contact details. You’ll find yourself inspired – and there just might be a cause close to your heart that you’ll hear calling your name.